Let me tell you all about how my life got flipped-turned upside down. When we were about to get married in August 2012, Carrie wanted to apply to start grad school in September 2012. I said "Whoa, hold on now, baby. I'm just not ready for that kind of a commitment!" Graciously, she delayed her application. In May 2013, she started working on her psychology prereqs because some of her courses in University of Lethbridge didn't transfer. Thus began a year-long endeavour of working full-time and doing school on the side. It wasn't so bad at first because we had tons of free time.
Then #yycflood2013 happened, and then a series of other calamities that happen in the course of regular life. Pastor Neil once told me to only commit 80% of your resources such that you leave room for contingencies and random emergencies. Carrie was carrying much more than 80% before the flood, and then life happened. It's remarkable. I've never seen someone work so hard before. I went to a competitive academic high school and engineering in university is no cakewalk, but Carrie pushed the boundaries of what I thought a normal person should be able to handle. I should mention that she did the bulk of the chores at home as well, and all I had to do was provide emotional support when things got hard for her. You should be shaking your head right now.
This carries on for some time, but right around my birthday in April 2014, that's when the wheels came off. I moved from working at AltaLink to TELUS, Carrie burned out and quit her job, and thus began the upside-down flip-turn. Something about counsellors is that they often end up single in life because their emotional needs are quite advanced. It's a miracle that an engineer from a family of four boys married an intuitive, feminist, mind-ninja. Imagine now that this engineer has to help her out of her burnout. The life is sucked out of us for the six months that follow.
Carrie started grad school in September, and she takes two courses at a time. It's said that one grad course is equivalent to two undergrad ones. She was still unemployed at the time, which I should probably unpack a bit. She quit her last job because it wasn't going to fit her expected school schedule. Looking forward to however we'd find income, her job would have to support her education. After getting a gauge on the format and pace of the courses in the first month, she found a new job. Two actually: one full-time during the day and another more flexible one in the evening. Her third job is taking care of me. Your head shaking should intensify here.
Once her school and work situations were solidified, life returned to normal. The only change is that I do a lot more chores; isn't my life so hard? We make about 2/3 the amount of money as before, and Carrie is stretched pretty thin, time-wise. If you saw her outside of the apartment in some sort of social gathering, you pretty much saw a unicorn. I go out by myself a lot more, but I think my friends prefer seeing her more than me.
For my first Christmas season at TELUS, we were given the opportunity to buy tickets to both the Edmonton and Calgary parties, and Carrie, ever the planner, told me to buy the Edmonton tickets because it was sooner and further away from her semester-end. The above photo is from the photo booth at the TELUS Edmonton Holiday Gala. She's been working really hard, I'm starting to contribute to our marriage, and we decided to have a little fun while I was showing off my unicorn.